Iran: No Precondition Acceptable for Participation in Geneva 2
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran will accept no precondition for taking part in Geneva 2 Conference on Syria, but is ready to contribute to resolving the prolonged conflict there, foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
“As we have already announced, we will accept no preconditions for participation in Geneva 2, but our basic policy is supporting any political move in that respect,” Marziyeh Afkham said in her routine weekly press conference.
Asked if Iran has been invited to attend the international conference, Afkham said that no country has received the invitations yet, as the final decisions on sending them have not been made yet.
She also said that in addition to the UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, himself, too, is now busy preparing the ground for holding the Geneva 2 Conference.
The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria has said that Iran's participation in international peace talks on the Syrian conflict was natural and necessary.
The so-called Geneva 2 peace talks, backed by Russia and the US and due to take place on November 23, have been repeatedly postponed amid wrangling among the Syrian opposition, and a dispute over which countries should participate.
And on Tuesday, Russia insisted that Iran must be invited to peace negotiations on Syria that world powers hope to hold in Geneva later this month.
"All those who affect the situation must be invited to the conference," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.
"This includes all of Syria's neighbors, this includes almost all countries of the Persian Gulf including, of course, not only the Arab countries but also Iran, this includes the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and other countries such as Turkey."
His comments came as Russian and US negotiators prepared to hold talks later Tuesday in Geneva with Lakhdar Brahimi.
Tuesday's talks aim to set a specific date for the Geneva talks despite broad disagreements about who should attend the meeting and growing differences within the Syrian opposition's ranks.
US State Department said in early October that Washington would be more open to Iran taking part in a Geneva 2 if Iran publicly supported a 2012 statement calling for a transitional authority to rule Syria.
But Iran has already rejected any conditions being placed on it to participate in diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated settlement to the war in Syria.